re·​con·​nais·​sance | \ ri-ˈkä-nə-zən(t)s How to pronounce reconnaissance (audio) , -sən(t)s\

Definition of reconnaissance

: a preliminary survey to gain information especially : an exploratory military survey of enemy territory

Examples of reconnaissance in a Sentence

There are two helicopters available for reconnaissance. They did a reconnaissance of the enemy's position.

Recent Examples on the Web

This Mantis 4x4 can be modified to suit a range of varied missions from attack and reconnaissance, through to intelligence and providing a sort mini-mobile HQ for command and control. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "New futuristic Israeli 'dune-buggy' is bristling with weapons, ready for combat," 22 June 2018 It can be outfitted for transport, reconnaissance, search and rescue, research, refueling, patrol or as a gunship. Madison Park And Steve Almasy, CNN, "Puerto Rico National Guard plane crashes on final military flight, killing 9," 3 May 2018 The individual arrested was seen in late September conducting reconnaissance and photographing the residence of the leader of the Ahvaz Liberation movement, Danish authorities said. Laurence Norman, WSJ, "Denmark Says It Foiled Iranian Assassination Plot," 30 Oct. 2018 Moscow blamed Israel after a Russian reconnaissance plane was shot down last month by Syrian antiaircraft fire which was defending against Israeli F-16s. Felicia Schwartz, WSJ, "As Israel Targets Iran in Syria, U.S. Officials Warn of Reprisals," 28 Oct. 2018 In that way, tankers, command and control aircraft, and reconnaissance planes are the backbone that let fighters operate at long ranges. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "How China's New Missile Concept Could Cripple American Air Power," 23 Oct. 2018 As a result, F-35 pilots will be able to control a small group of drones flying nearby from the aircraft cockpit in the air, performing sensing, reconnaissance and targeting functions. Fox News, "Air Force brings AI to B-2, F-35 and F-15," 31 July 2018 Starting some time during or before March 2016, Antonov's team began to conduct reconnaissance for attacks on organizations associated with the Democratic party. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "How they did it (and will likely try again): GRU hackers vs. US elections," 27 July 2018 His profession has taught him to use his eyes more keenly than the ordinary man, and consequently the artist-soldier is particularly valuable for all reconnaissance and observation work. Mary Horlock, Longreads, "The Camouflage Artist: Two Worlds Wars, Two Loves, and One Great Deception," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reconnaissance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of reconnaissance

1779, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for reconnaissance

French, literally, recognition, from Middle French reconoissance, from Old French reconoistre to recognize

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Statistics for reconnaissance

Last Updated

27 Feb 2019

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The first known use of reconnaissance was in 1779

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More Definitions for reconnaissance



English Language Learners Definition of reconnaissance

: military activity in which soldiers, airplanes, etc., are sent to find out information about an enemy


re·​con·​nais·​sance | \ ri-ˈkä-nə-zəns How to pronounce reconnaissance (audio) \

Kids Definition of reconnaissance

: a survey (as of enemy territory) to get information

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